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The Stormin' Vikings will continue their run of state appearances after a strong performance Saturday at Linn-Mar in the District Swim Meet.  The Medley Relay team of Wes Farrell, Brayden Beck, Broden Farrell, and James DeSmet finished third at the meet and earned the 21st position in the state.  This marks the fourth consecutive year the team has qualified for this relay.


The day was full of great swims and hug time drops. On the day the team registered 28 new personal best times out of 31 swims in finishing fifth, just a half point behind Cedar Rapids Jefferson.  Host Linn-Mar finished first, followed by CR Washington, Kennedy, and Jefferson.  The Storming Vikings finished ahead of Grinnell, Burlington and Keokuk.


In addition to the Medley Relay, the team turned in several podium finishes including James DeSmet (5th - 50 Free), Wes Farrell (5th - 100 Back), Broden Farrell (5th - 100 Breast), Brayden Beck (6th- 100 Breast), and the 200 Free Relay of DeSmet, Hunter Kempton, Wes Farrell, and Beck was 4th.


While this represented the team's best performance of the year and tremendous improvement across the board, it was not without disappointment.  For the second straight year, Wes Farrell just missed qualifying as an individual in the 100 Back.  Last year his time of 57.15 missed the cut by 0.05 seconds.  Despite a tremendous race this year and a time of 56.46, the cut time this year dropped to an astonishingly fast 56.16.  The top 32 individuals and 24 relay teams from across the state advance each year.


The 200 Free Relay also just missed the cut with a time of 1:33.05.  While a 3.1 second drop from last week, and the second best time in program history, the time fell just short of qualifying with the Stormin' Vikes squad falling at 26th place in the state.


Some other notable performances on the day included senior Hunter Kempton who had significant time drops in the 50 free and 100 free, James DeSmet who split a remarkable 22.24 anchoring the 200 Medley Relay, Broden Farrell with a nearly 6 second time drop in the 200 IM and four seconds in the 100 Breast to move onto our program leader board in both of those events.  Junior Jacob Dreier and Sophomore Trey Dooley each had a pair of strong swims, as did Senior Thomas Jessen with personal bests in the 500 Free and 100 Back.  And sophomore Andrew Jessen battling a respiratory virus - not good news for a distance swimmer - gutted through a 200 and 500 free to earn points for the team in each event.


So the team advances to Iowa City this weekend to again compete against the best in Iowa in the only boys sport that is a single-class sport.  Despite a smaller team and having lost several top line swimmers from last year's team, this year's squad has truly achieved some impressive results.  This group has put its name on our record board in several places and will be heading to state again.

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